Speculation about where Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will play in 2022 was rampant even before Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL on February 1.
Brady’s exit potentially creates a job vacancy in Tampa Bay, a team that has won five playoff games over the past two years, including the 2021 Super Bowl.
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“I’ll throw this at you, Brady retires. … Aaron Rodgers says I want out, so [Packers wide receiver] Davante Adams is out,” Cowherd said. “Aaron agrees to Tampa, Green Bay says we want [Bucs wide receiver] Mike Evans, we’re not losing Davante and getting nobody.”
“Green Bay gets [Bucs pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul], Mike Evans, two firsts [and] up to three [draft picks] if Aaron plays a third year, which has always been something you’ve talked about,” Cowherd continued to Wright. “Two [picks] guaranteed, up to three if he plays a third year. If he retires after two, you get two minimum, even if he retired after [just one] year.”
Cowherd’s proposal would require a different player than Pierre-Paul to make the deal work because Pierre-Paul is about to become an unrestricted free agent and the Bucs wouldn’t retain the right to include him in trade proposals unless Tampa Bay re-signs the edge rusher this offseason.
Bucs Coach Arians Doesn’t Close Door on Bringing in New QB After Brady Announces Retirement
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians spoke to the potential of Brady’s retirement and how the team would address his replacement during a press conference on January 24. Veteran Blaine Gabbert and rookie Kyle Trask are the two quarterbacks on the Bucs’ active roster, per ESPN.
“I’d be comfortable if it is,” Arians told reporters when asked if the team would be satisfied if Brady were to retire.
“I like what we have, but again, you never know what’s behind Door No. 2,” Arians continued. “We kind of went down that road two years ago, and there was Tom Brady. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Packers Can Create Bidding War If Rodgers Wants to Depart Green Bay
Rodgers has not committed publicly to leaving Green Bay or to staying, saying only that his decision will come before NFL free agency opens at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on March 16.
Rodgers has most frequently been tied to the Broncos, who just hired longtime Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. The Raiders also make sense because they could send a competent quarterback in Derek Carr, along with significant draft compensation, to the Packers.
Should Rodgers go to the Broncos or Raiders, each team likely would become an immediate contenders. However, both teams play in an AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. And it’s possible that Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals and Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills will be AFC powerhouses for years to come.
Of course, Rodgers already may have the best situation in Green Bay. He is under contract for next season, but his deal is structured to include a $46.5 million cap hit in 2022. Should Rodgers decide not to renegotiate the details, he can essentially force the Packers to trade him.